When the dust settled at the 2019 RFD-TV’s The American, Madison Outhier was the first-ever Breakaway Roping Shootout Round winner. Her 2.29-second run netted her more than $100,000. A determined Fulshear, Texas, high school sophomore, “Madi” takes roping seriously—riding every day while juggling sports and academics. But she’ll tell you she was born for this life.
Madi’s dad is Mike Outhier—professional bronc rider and 4-time NFR competitor. Her mother is Kristy Outhier, one of the top women’s polo players in the world. And her grandparents are Lou and Wanda Waters—founders of LA Waters Quarter Horses in Utopia, Texas. They’re best known for owning the great Colonel Freckles, and Mike and Kristy still run the operation today.
Milburn Outhier, Mike’s father, was many time IPRA World Champion Bareback Rider and Mike’s two sisters won countless accolades in high School and xollege rodeo in Oklahoma. Kristy says they are truly where Madi gets her love for rodeo. Her younger brother, Ace, rides as well. Needless to say, horses are in Madi’s blood.
“That poor little child, she was pretty much born on horseback” Kristy said with a laugh. “But she kept loving it, and going with me to polo matches, and going to watch Mike rodeo. And at about seven years old, she started roping: roping the dummy, roping off her pony and all of that. She just always loved rodeo—all the events.”
Madi counts herself blessed with the opportunity she has to learn from her family.“Both of my parents have just helped me tremendously with the horses: polo, rodeo and just all around riding,” Madi said. “It’s great to have them, and I feel very lucky to have knowledgeable parents in the horse world.”
From riding ponies all over the ranch as a kid, to barrel racing, and now breakaway roping at the national level, Madi has always loved horses. Her competitive spirit comes naturally to her, but she prioritizes her riding practice to achieve her goals. She’s active with the Texas Youth Rodeo Association and the Youth Rodeo Association.
“We’re definitely a competitive family,” Madi said. “It’s always been in my blood. I just love competition. The sweetness you feel when you win is what’s so great about competition to me. It’s really awesome to get to compete against such a wide spectrum of people nowadays. Competing is like a craving for me, so rodeo is perfect for that.”
Madi rides a horse named Allo Gallo Colonel also known as “Rooster.” The 2008 sorrel gelding is a son of the original “Rooster” Gallo Del Cielo, out of LA Waters Quarter Horses mare Colonel C Hermosa, by Colonel Clout.
“My favorite thing about him is how he gives me 110 percent effort every time,” Madi said. “I’ll rope on him just about every single day and he’s perfect every single time. It’s great to know I have a horse like that.”
Outside of rodeo competition, Madi plays polo, and high school basketball. She also makes straight A’s in AP classes—a workload that’s tough even without extracurriculars.
“She’s just so driven, she’s a real ‘means to the end’ kind of person,” Kristy said. “When she knows she wants to achieve something, she works, really, really hard at that. She’s had plenty of disappointments in her life, but she seems to move right on and keep going.”
Madi likes riding in Cactus gear, especially her all-white splint and bell boots and ropes. She also wears Wrangler clothes and Resistol hats. In her (not-so) spare time, she likes working on her jewelry business, Madison Lyn Jewelry. But horses are still the top priority.
“Horses are the most amazing animals I’ve ever been around,” Madi said. “Each one has such a different personality and you can get to know how they’re feeling by their mannerisms. I love getting to devote my time to horses. I’m never bored. Always busy. And I love it.”
By: Abigail Boatwright